Spotlight on Kelley

Panelist Kelley Vaughn-Kauffman talks about juggling two kids and her workload as a freelance graphic designer.


My boys...

“I have two children: Everett 5 years and Reese 3 years. Everett is in Kindergarten at PS 34 (which is across the street from our apartment) and Reese attends preschool at Williamsburg Head Start."


My schedule...

"I have chosen to arrange my freelance schedule in a way that allows me to pick them up daily and spend the afternoon with them. We go to the playground after school or something random yet close to home like throw rocks in the river, meet up with friends. I love this because they are still really young and I feel fortunate that my work allows for this.

My schedule is a bit tough but it works for now. I drop off the kids in the morning and trek all of one block back upstairs to my desk by 8:30am. I stop working by 2:15 to pick the kids up at the end of their school day.

I give them 100% (as much as possible) from 2:30-8:30pm. My husband comes home from work at 6, the family eats dinner and we both do the night routine with the boys and they are asleep by 8:30 or 9pm.

Pat returns back to work and so do I. Although, he goes back to his workshop and I just go into the next room. We both work at night from around 9p-1am. It can be brutal. This happens about 5 nights a week. We have to make up the time somewhere, so there goes the night!

We take a break on either Friday or Saturday nights - we all get takeout and no going back to work!"

On balance...

"I try and give 100% to work and 100% to the kids-but that has to happen separately.  Fortunately now, being completely separated happens because of school, so that makes it easy. 

I really had no idea before kids that you couldn't work with them in the room. I used to think, "oh, I'll just work when the baby is next to me"....HA. NO WAY. That didn't work. Oh man."

My support...

"I would say that one thing that has helped tremendously is having an amazing partner with a somewhat flexible schedule! He works many, many hours (even overnights 1-2x a week) yet he manages to come home every night for dinner/kid-time/ night routine. Pat plays around with them each night - wrestling, pretending to be a monster, chase, stuff that our boys love to do. I find this kind of play is the key to a lot of things, especially with boys. It's their way of bonding.

He repairs and builds tube amplifiers for the music industry for a living (not many people do this, so he is always busy). We both work around our kids' daily routines. This happens out of necessity ( money leftover for sitters!) but also out of choice. With two kids, it helps to have a great partner! It's a two-person job a lot of the time.”


Meet Kelley and hear more of her story this Friday, Oct 14 from 6p-8p at Wild Was Mama at our Back To Work panel discussion. We will have plenty of time for questions and are look forward to a lively conversation. Tickets are pay what you wish and children are welcome, although childcare is not provided.

Please purchase your ticket in advance of attending: